Overdoing It
Technology—Primavera, Amazonas, Brazil and Silver Spring, Maryland

I do not consider ironing a chore. While I mindlessly run the iron back and forth over anything wrinkled, I can let my thoughts wander where they may. Sometimes I listen to music or a ballgame, but mostly I daydream.

Watching wrinkles disappear gives me pleasure. (Wish I could iron away my own!). It's almost like meditating except that you accomplish something. And you're never done. There will always be more to iron in the future.

Last week we fired the company that takes care of our lawn and leaves. When we got two bills in one month that added up to $400 for our postage-stamp-sized back yard, I decided that was it. For half of that amount, we can buy a self-propelled lawnmower and do it ourselves.

So that's why on Sunday, a beautiful fall day, I was in the back yard raking. How satisfying it was to smell the soil of the garden beds and the still-green lawn. How satisfying to stuff the brightly colored leaves into a bag and stamp them down. How I yearned for the fall smell of burning leaves of my childhood. How good it felt to rake until I wanted to stop.

Like ironing, raking is mindless. And like ironing, you're never done.

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